An Act To Establish Reasonable Restrictions on the Use of Fireworks
CONCEPT DRAFT SUMMARY
This bill is a concept draft pursuant to Joint Rule 208.
This bill proposes to establish reasonable restrictions on the sales and use of fireworks in the State. This bill would establish a mechanism for reviewing and determining whether restrictions should be placed on the use of fireworks depending on factors, including, but not limited to:
1. The level of fire danger within the area at the time of intended use;
2. The presence of farm animals in the area, and the propensity of such animals to suffer adverse health effects from exposure to the noise accompanying fireworks or, as a result of fear resulting from exposure to such noise, to endanger others;
3. The interests of summer residents and tourists, and the interests of local businesses that provide services to such residents and tourists;
4. The interests of year-round residents in living without unreasonable disturbances to their peace and tranquility; and
5. The effects on veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, for whom exposure to fireworks carries the potential to trigger debilitating symptoms that have severe and long-lasting effects on their health and ability to function.
The mechanism for reviewing and determining the establishment of fireworks restrictions must evaluate the impact of the use of fireworks on tourism in the State, and balance the interests of the private individuals who choose to use fireworks and the members of the public who are then necessarily exposed to those fireworks. Restrictions imposed on the use of fireworks may include, among other things, a requirement to obtain a permit from the State Fire Marshal, a requirement to obtain local fire permits, limitations on the times during the day, week or month that fireworks may be used and the establishment of firework-free zones throughout the State.